There are several questions where the challenge is to accomplish a task with the least distinct characters - Example, Example, Possibly example. There's probably more, these are hard to find.

Currently, these questions are all tagged with , but it would be nice to have this as an explicit winning criterion.

is what I have so far, so name suggestions welcome.

Name suggestions welcome!

Pxeger, Wheat Wizard and PyGamer0 have had some ideas, what're* your thoughts?

* if that's not a word, it is now.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I can also see plenty of challenges for the maximum number of distinct bytes, basically the bowling version of this. Might it actually be a better idea to just have a distinct-characters or distinct-scoring and combine it with either code-golf or code-bowling depending on which. This would widen the net a little bit in terms of challenges, and the ideas are very similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WheatWizard True. Why don't you write up an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – emanresu A
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ More examples :1, Similar scoring: 1, 2 (closed) and Related: 1 \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


Looking at the minimum distinct character challenges linked it does seem like while there are a couple it's not a very well liked scoring criterion on it's own.

"Do X but with minimum characters" is just not interesting on it's own anymore. Unlike other scoring criteria most challenges with this criterion end up feeling pretty much the same.

Of course or other special rules could turn this on its head. I just don't think we should anticipate a whole lot more of these challenges.

I still think that in the end the scant challenges we have may be worth tagging, but I think we can find a more useful tag by broadening the scope of this tag.

I suggest we add a single tag which just indicates that the scoring for the challenge involves the distinct characters rather than just all the characters.

So + would be minimum number of distinct characters, and + would be the maximum number of distinct characters.

This widens the potential pool on the tag a bit to include more challenges which really are very similar. It's also more open to variation which I think this type of challenge is in desperate need of if it is going to keep being asked.


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